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Malawi’s business tycoon Patel in land saga: Lands Ministers Msukwa, Abida Mia pay surprise visit to his residence

Patel's mansion erected on land he bought dubiously from Ministry of Lands in 2016
Patel’s mansion erected on land he bought dubiously from Ministry of Lands in 2016

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—It appears the honeymoon for dubious land transactions is over in Malawi as a familiarization tour to Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) in Blantyre by Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Kezzie Msukwa and his Deputy, Abida Sidik Mia turned into an inquiry on how a plot of land was acquired by businessman Mr Patel in Mudi, Blantyre.

During the tour at MHC, it was learnt that a Malawi Housing Corporation Plot in Mudi was fraudulently sold to Mr Patel, owner of KU Distributors.

When quizzed, MHC Chief Executive Officer Eunice Napolo and Company Secretary, Bob Chimkango, distanced MHC from ever taking any part in the transaction.

“We were never involved in the transaction of this land. We just learnt, to our surprise, that the documentation was done by the Lands Department,” said Napolo when quizzed to explain as to what happened.

Minister Msukwa and Deputy Minister Abida Sidik Mia inspecting houses built by MHC at Ngambe site in Blantyre

When the Minister and Deputy arrived at the plot where Mr Patel built a mansion, it was learnt that the owner was at his KU Distributors industry, in Maone Blantyre.

The Minister and Deputy then followed him in order to get to the bottom of the issue. Mr Patel, looking calm and collected, fished out what he called original documents, to back his claim that he is the rightful owner of the plot.

After a brief exchange, the Minister told Patel that they will make a final determination on the matter and that he will be communicated to.

In an interview, Msukwa said him together with his Deputy Abida Mia will preside over the Ministry of Lands where the rule of law will be the guiding compass.

He urged MHC staff, whom he said was impressed with the kind of work they are doing ‘to apply the best of their professionalism’ if they are to deliver on the mandate they have of providing affordable housing to the nation.

“We need to succeed as a nation and to do that we need to separate politics from office work. No politicization of the workplace” Msukwa said.

During the familiarization tour, the Minister and Deputy toured BCA Hill and Ngumbe sites where MHC is constructing flats as well as bungalows. The Minister has also put MHC on high alert that they will commence construction of 100 house units, 50 for officers in the Police Service in Mzuzu and the remaining 50 for the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Officers at Support Battalion.

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